Clank! was one of my favorite games from 2016, and I was delighted to learn that there are now two new ways to play, thanks to the Renegade Games Companion App. In case you’re not familiar with Clank!, it’s a deck-building game in which you explore a dungeon, hoping to get the most loot—and making it out alive. You can read my full review here.
The Renegade Games Companion App, available free for iOS or Android, had a custom timer for FUSE, and an update this week added a special Clank! app as well. The app introduces two new modes for solo and multiplayer play.
First, let’s take a look at the solo game.
When you first start off a solo game, the app will walk you through the slightly modified setup, telling you which artifacts to remove from the game, where to start the dragon on the rage track, and so on. You’ll set aside another color of pawn and cubes, to be used for “threat.” Any time the app tells you to add threat, you add those cubes to the clank area, and they’ll go into the bag and get pulled out as usual. However, you may now also use healing to remove those cubes from the health track as if they were your own.
When the game starts, you’ll be presented with a quest—for instance, clearing a particular card from the dungeon row, or generating a certain amount of skill, or revealing a secret token. You have a certain number of turns to do so—if you do, you get a reward. It might be an extra boot to spend this turn, or gold, or even taking an unused secret token. If you fail to complete the quest in the specified number of turns, however, there are penalties. You might even have to resolve an extra dragon attack! The app does have a little bit of flavor text for success and failure, though they do repeat often. You’ll get assigned a new quest each time you complete one or when you run out of turns, so in any given game you’ll see a lot of different quests.
After you take your turn but before you refill and resolve dragon attacks, you tap the “next turn” button. The app will instruct you to discard certain cards from the dungeon row, as if your opponent has purchased them. You may also have additional effects, like increasing rage, adding clank or threat, and so on.
If you ever reach 10 threat, you tap the “10 Threat Achieved” button. It’s basically the same thing that would happen if another player had died—their pawn is placed at the start of the countdown track. From then on, you no longer have quests to complete, but instead just have a countdown, and each time you hit “next turn” it will trigger extra dragon attacks until it reaches the fourth space or the game ends.
Okay, now let’s take a look at the multiplayer mode.
The game mostly plays the same way—the app will let you tap to indicate which player colors are being used, and you can also enter names for players if you like, though it’s not required. (Oddly, I can’t find any way delete player names once they’ve been entered, since my daughter had a typo the first time and that seems to be permanently included now as a player option.)
Multiplayer mode introduces a gorgon, a Lieutenant who’s helping the dragon guard the dungeon. There are three events listed on the screen, and you tap them whenever they happen. Each game will just have three events that do not change, but you’ll get a different mix each time you play. For instance, it might be using a device, or generating 6 skill, or buying something from the market. Every so often after you tap an event, an effect will trigger. You might have to discard all Companions from the dungeon row, or draw extra attack cubes, or add clank. Or, you might get lucky and get to draw cards, gain gold, or exchange cards for some much-needed healing.
It doesn’t change the game that much, but just adds a little tweak that can trigger some interesting effects throughout the gameplay. The more events you trigger, the angrier the gorgon gets, though I’m not sure if that means the penalties get worse or more frequent or if that’s just a thematic visual effect.
Once you reach the end of the game, either in solo or multiplayer, the app will also help you tally up your scores. First, you get to indicate whether each player died, was rescued (knocked out above ground level), or escaped. Then, you pick which artifacts you got away with. Finally, you put in scores for gold, other tokens, and cards. Unfortunately, for the cards and tokens you still have to add everything up yourself. I do feel like there are so many cards that there’s not an easy way to include that in the app, but I’m surprised they didn’t have a token-selection screen the way they do for the artifacts. The other weird quirk is that the point dials for the gold, tokens, and cards only scroll from 0 to 9 but don’t wrap around, so if you’ve got 8 points you have to scroll up and you can’t just scroll down to reach the 8. It’s a minor quibble, but seemed like an odd interface choice.
I really liked the solo mode addition—it’s a great way to add solo play to a tabletop game that doesn’t include it automatically, and I like the variety of quests (plus rewards and penalties) included. The multiplayer mode doesn’t change the game that much, but does add a little more flavor and random effects, which can be fun. The only thing I wish there were that the three events rotated during the game—maybe not every time they’re triggered, but possibly when the Lieutenant changes between her three levels of anger.
If you’re a fan of Clank!, you should definitely download the app—it’s free!—and give it a shot the next time you play. And stay tuned for a review of the upcoming expansion, Sunken Treasures, coming in March.